Deborah Jeff comments on a court ruling that oil tycoon Michael Prest should not be obliged to hand over possessions totalling £18m to his former spouse, cutting his divorce statement by £9m.
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Last October, Nigerian-born businessman Prest was ordered to pay his previous spouse money and possessions in the type of 6 of his properties. But after months of wrangling at the courts, with the couple running up legal costs of more than £3 million, judges at the Court of Appeal handed down a composed judgment last Friday saying the quantity he had been asked to pay was incorrect. Family Lawyer
The ruling has actually been called “unsatisfactory” by attorneys for wives whose partners may use business to shelter their wealth.
Top London divorce attorney Deborah Jeff remarks: “The case of Prest highlights once again how family members law is on the back-foot of business law in divorce settlements.
“In 2010 with the instance of Tchenguiz & Imerman, a spouse was avoided from making use of records downloaded from her partner’s computer when he looked for to hide assets from her. We now have Mr Prest being enabled to make use of the business veil to place possessions past his spouse’s control.
“Common sense and justice for partners must be returned to our household courts. The public perception of justice being done in divorce settlements is winding down as a outcome of the ‘cheats’ charter’ the courts are now seen to recommend. Whilst industrial law need to be appreciated, the family members courts have to be able to look behind the deception of husbands and the structures they use to put possessions beyond the reach of their spouses. Fairness in household law must override commercial law, otherwise judges will continue to unknowingly authorise fraudulent behaviour of partners getting separated.”
The couple married in 1993 and lived at their £4m Bayswater residence, although they additionally had properties in Nigeria and the Caribbean. A £11.3m London property profile was developed up, with practically all the flats and houses being owned by one of Mr Prest’s business. Lord Justice Patten said it had been wrong to claim that Mr Prest was the sole owner of the assets. Prenuptial Agreement
Notes to Editors
Seddons is a 20-year-old central London law firm (based at 5 Portman Square) with a total of over 70 personnel with 19 partners, including one of the greatest divorce attorneys in the UK, Deborah Jeff. Her Household department offers a thorough array of services, featuring prenuptial agreements.
Chambers UK keeps in mind ‘This team provides customers the complete assortment of family members services, and is especially noted for its knowledge on divorce proceedings’ and the Legal 500 says ‘Deborah Jeff provides an superb level of solution at Seddons’.